J. Alfred Prufrock Is He Gay? Essay, Research Paper
Is J. Alfred Prufrock Gay?
When we read T. S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” you almost get the feeling that Prufrock is gay. In fact, when the story is read a bit more in depth you can conclude that he is gay.
The first flag that is raised to our attention of prufrock being gay is the fact that not once do we hear the name of his so called lover or even him calling her a lady. Therefore we might be able to conclude that this lady is in fact a guy. This would in turn bring up many situations in the story that are not brought to light if this story was read in different text.
Prufrock is very insecure about himself. This is especially seen in the first ten lines. He is insecure when he talks of his “overwhelming question….” He wants to answer this question but he does not feel that society would be so open if he did. His insecurities do not allow him to ask this question and continue to live the way he is at the moment. This question that prufrock wants to ask himself can be seen as a question of his sexuality.
When Prufrock talks of women in lines thirteen and fourteen and then again in lines thirty-five and thirty-six, he talks of them in a tone that is almost boring. This situation almost seems to tell us that he does not think of women as intelectual beings. Especially when they are of the upper class. Therefore, he does not think of them as good partners. In a round about way Prufrock just does not care for them. In lines ninety-six through ninety-eight he even comes out and says that a girl is not what he needed at all. This only gives more concrete evidence to Prufrock’s homosexuality.
Prufrock talks of putting on a mask, and disguising himself to the world around him. Then, right after this line he talks of being able to “muder and the create”. What other than his sexuality could Prufrock be talking about murdering and the recreating. He wants to murder the mask that he is wearing. He wants to come out and then recreate himself.
However, when the first realization of his homosexuality comes to mind Prufrock starts second-guessing himself. In lines thirty-one through thirty-four we see this in decisiveness. Prufrock then starts thinking of his appearance if he were to let this be known. He thinks about how his perfect world is not ready for a idea of this magnitude to come forth. Prufrock knows that if his homosexuality was to be known, the perfect universe that he knows would the destroyed.
At first glance lines forty-nine through sixty-one seem to be about him wanting death. This, however, is not the case. Furthermore, we see him asking himself what he should do if he does come out and tell people of his sexuality. He is weighing the possibilities and the reprocutions of his decision. He finnaly comes to the conclusion that evrything is alright now and he does not want to disturb this peacfulness.
Line eighty-seven clearly tells us that he did not come out. Yet he is also second guessing his decision. No, he tells himself, it would not have been worth his own morality to ruin everyones perfect picture of himself. Prufrock would miss the boring events, or would he?
In truth, we find that Prufrock would have rather told the truth about his homosexuality. But, we find that he is insecure about himself. With his lack of insecurity we find that he also has a lack of courage. Prufrock is therefore a stagnant character who lacks the courage to destroy his world. He lacks the courage knowing that the world around him does not want to be disturbed. ( )
Because of his insecurities and lack of courage Prufrock realizes that he is “not Prince Hamlet”. He realizes that he does not have the courage to come out and tell every one that he is gay. He realizes that “they”( ) being the people around him will not sing his praises when he does pass on. This is what ultimately destroys his world without even touching anyone around him. This realization all but drowns Prufrock. Furthermore, because he is drowning the people around him eventually find out, he then truly lives a life by himself and his world is detsroyed.
The dramatic monologue gives conclusive proof that J. Alfred Prufrock was not a man trying to pop the question to a girlfriend. But, He was a man who was fighting with the realization that he was gay and did not know whether to come out with it or to keep it inside himself.